31 Dec 2011

New Years isnt Harassing

As it seems that this Saturdays post had fallen on New Years Eve, as with last week, it would be wrong not to post a story about this time of year. This time it's a domestic situation with a twist.

A couple of years ago I was lucky to be working a night shift on a New Years. Unlike my previous post about the nightmare of a New Years Night turn this one was busy but due to a heavy, If not monsoon like, rain storm it seemed the majority of people stayed in the comfort and warmth of their own home rather then brave the wet and rainy outside for a trip to the club.

Happy New Year

This post is mainly about a couple, well now ex-couple, we will call them Mr. and Mrs. X. The night started at 10pm and my sergeant said "Can you head out to this domestic we still have on the box before the wheels fall off" I read the incident report which was from Mrs. X stating that she had split up from Mr. X in bad circumstances about 9 months previously and had called us because at 9.47pm she received a text message saying nothing more than "I am sending out my Happy New Year messages now to beat the rush so Happy New Year and I hope you are spending your New Year with loved ones, Love Mr. X" I thought to myself, Good idea getting the messages in early but my feelings were swiftly altered when it said after this that Mrs. X was reporting this as she has not spoken to her ex since the break up until he sent her a merry Christmas text message and now has sent this one and feels although she is being harassed by text.

I think I gave my colleague a heart attack as I yelled "What the! Have you read this bollocks?" We arrived at the address some 30 minutes later as I had to get my New Year messages in early and beat the rush. We spoke with Mrs. X and I asked her why this was harassing her to which she stated "We haven't seen each other is 9 months so I think he has ulterior motives" to which I replied a little to sarcastically "What other than sending you a message he seems to have sent everyone?" I wasn't having any of it so I advised her to change her number and not give it to him which would definitely rectify this situation and also advised her on the use of pressing three 9's on the phone and surprisingly it's been a year since then and we are yet to be called back to her address.

24 Dec 2011

Theres snow place like home

With tomorrow being Christmas Day it's only right that I blog about something with a seasonal vibe so this blog will be about a funny time I had in last years Christmas time snow. It is very rare that police officers are grounded at police stations but last year we had so much snow where I am over a short period that most of it turned to ice. We were told only to attend incidents that were real emergencies. This was a great idea apart from as soon as I started I was sent out to try and drag a police car out as a colleague managed to get stuck in a road with cars on either side. When we arrived, I started to spread some salt along the whole road and yes!! I fell over, enjoy it, have a laugh, now let's continue. We managed to get the car out of the snow and the driver was slowly moving away as I yelled "dont stop, see you back at the nick!" The down side was I had stopped my car to yell this out the window.

Police Christmas

I got back in my car and began to drive and realised I was stuck. Out came the grit again and I gritted the entire section go road which had a camber so as I started to move I began to slide sideways almost into a parked car. It was at this point that I kept out of the car in a fashion that would be best suited to some action movie, ran around the car and pushed against it to stop it hitting the parked cars. I dont know if it helped or whether I was just imagining myself as some big strong bear like creature powerful enough to push a car, but it worked, my colleague drove and put myself between the patrol car and the parked cars and we made it back.

After his I decided that the only option was to take out a 4x4, only thing is we didn't have a 4x4 at our nick so I chose the next best thing, a Transit Van. This worked well, more weight, no ABS. This meant that 4 of us were going everywhere from our nick as there were no other suitable vehicles. The only issue was that we weren't attending any jobs as nobody was calling us we were just going around pulling cars out of the snow. It was like one big jolly ride along! And one final thing to remember is if your car is rear wheel drive (BMW, MERC) then don't drive it in the snow as you won't make it home!!

17 Dec 2011

Out of our hands

There is a growing feeling in the public of disappointment in the police or anger at the police for not doing a good job of for cases not going to court. What people don't realise is that a large majority of cases that the police investigate are not decided upon by the police. We are now purely investigators, the decision makers are now CPS, Crown Prosecution Service are the decision makers in a majority of cases and that includes all domestic cases. When the police forces come under fire from the media about case decisions they do not drop CPS in it as they don't want to tarnish the relations as we are meant to be working together but when the boot is on the other foot CPS are quick to outline in public the police's failings.

I do feel that the understanding of what we do needs explaining as I feel that we as police bear a large amount of the disappointment with the legal system as we are the front line faces of it. I have had many cases where I disagreed with the decision given by CPS especially with significant incidents like assaults or domestics but I am a mere investigative PC and do not hold any powers, their decision is always final.

I always try to explain the situation to the members of the public I deal with to prevent any chance of a complaint against me because I have had a few complaints about court decisions which are that of the judge, not me!

10 Dec 2011

Surfing isn't all fun

I have been to many weird incidents that even when I describe the occurrences to people I can scaresly believe them myself. None more so than the time I was called to an incident whereby it was reported a person had fallen off a train between two stations. Firstly, I'm sure your asking "how does someone fall off a train between stations?" I did, and it seemed that the person calling 999 believed it to be someone who had missed the doors closing and as it was the last train jumped on the outside. Secondly, your probably thinking "Surely it wouldn't be much of an issue finding them?" Normally, No, but this was in the early hours of a winters weekend where we had received the largest snowfall seen in the area since records began!

A large part of the initial phase of the incident was completed on the way to getting to scene, mobilization of units to the train stations, asking, no pleading with the helicopter to lift, always a no. It seemed to dawn on me that we had ample units at the train stations as our Ford Focus skidded around over the ice on blue lights endevouring to get to the person before a freight train. Let me tell you now that this train line was not easy to access. It is a coastal line in the middle of marshland and farmers fields. I then decided to point my driver in the direction of a short cut to get to a farmers field that I knew the person would be near. When we arrived the line was 2 fields away, luckily all downhill. We ran across the first field wading knee deep in fresh powder and came to a gate, I was first to hop over and took one step and was up to my waist in snow. It seems the field which was level as I saw it had a raised road with drops either side. It was at this point we heard another unit say they had commandeered a train and were traveling slowly along the line searching for the person. We saw the train come slowly into view with lights aglow shortly followed by its breaks screeching and a voice over the radio to say "I think we may have run over him again"

It was at this stage we eventually made it to the track and ran towards the train which was about half a mile away at this stage. I could hear that the unit were on the track with the male who seemed to be screaming in a lot of pain and there was the issue of moving him against getting a doctor or something to him. I asked " Is helimed available" to which I got the reply "they won't lift" I asked "Search and Rescue?" same reply there too. We got to the train to find and incredibly drunk obnoxious twenty something with minor injuries and an appalling mouth on him. His friends on the carriage weren't much better, jeering him on taking photos and video. It turns out this was all a drunken prank. His mates dared him to 'train surf' which is basically holding onto the outside of a train whilst it moves. He fell off and it took 3 emergency services and nearly 3 helicopters, if the weather wasnt so bad, to help him. That should be worth a ticket for wasting police time!

3 Dec 2011

Dont get yourself in trouble

When I joined as a police officer the one thing I was told, as do all police officers, is that you are never off duty. This means that if you ever see a criminal offence you should intervene, circumstances permitting i.e you not carrying your 6 month old baby.

This works well as it means the police can never let things go even when off duty but sometimes it can make things worse. I can recall an incident of public order in our local town when a few drunk louts started a fight between each other. A full carrier of officers were sent, about 7 officers in total, to deal with them. Whilst trying to restrain the males a random passer by came over and began to try and pull people about. He was instantly planted to the floor as we're all the trouble makers an once we had control they were all handcuffed, arrested and taken to the police officer. It turned out the random passer by was a police constable that was fresh out of training college and was obeying his oath a little too much and was mistaken for a suspect. He was later de-arrested and given a verbal ear bashing about the use of his off duty powers!

26 Nov 2011

Taken it too far now

If you have ever played Chinese whispers then I bet you can imagine that there are times when a message gets passed to us incorrectly and it seems to be a lot worse than it actually is. There has been many times where I have gone to a disturbance where the operator will tell us on our radios that someone has "Punched a gate over" or "Punching a child" and it seems that the original call taker, in their speedy typing has written "Puched" on the incident which should have been "Pushed" or "Pushing" but because of the speed we work we have no time to clarify and have to assume they mean "Punched"

I can recall a particular incident where we received a call what the operator told us was a concern for a son in law from his in laws. They stated that the relationship between their daughter and him had broken down and they received a text message of a body of water saying "This is my view now." Obviously we went all out with a marine unit, helicopter, people searching the all local bodies of water and we were all asking for the informant to be contacted and the message be sent on to us as we may be able to identify the lake. It was at this point we managed to ascertain that the son in law had just sent a text saying "loving my view now" and nothing had been said about water. We called the son in laws mobile which he answered and said that his in laws always overreact when him and thief daughter have any issues and that he was happily shopping in the next village. Not to be outdone we "pinged" his mobile phone which is a way of triangulating his position and he was in fact in that villiage which was at leave 10 miles from any body of water. Taxes well used again due to a Chinese whisper.

20 Nov 2011

Quit your yapping

As you can tell by my name I am a police constable, I have never had any wishes for a position of power but sometimes responsibility gets thrust upon you.

The only time I was in charge of a shift it became apparent to me that police officers are a notoriously whiney bunch. This one time was one of extenuating circumstances where a large fire had happened and we needed to ask our officers to stay on later, which it states in the regulations we signed up to when we joined is fully expected. It was at this point I received a barrage of contacts via my personal radio saying "Are we going to be much longer? I need to put my dog out" or "So who is going to take over from us and when" to "How much are we getting for this overtime? Double pay?" and "If I don't get off soon I will be working into a rest day" To be honest on their own all valid questions BUT when you have 10 officers all asking these questions over and over then it gets tedious. That coupled with the work I had to do gets tiresome. This incident in particular I do admit I did stop answering my radio to certain people for fear of yelling swear words down the radio.

19 Nov 2011

People help the people

There are times in my job that I wonder what makes people tick. I mean mainly when it comes to the disgusting way at which some people deal with other human beings. We all know that every now and again you get a murder, usually domestic but the worst tales are ones where people are left with life changing injuries from unprovoked attacks.

I recall one where a man was set upon in his own home by burglars that he disturbed. They stole all his belongings and then all 3 of them began to beat him with snooker balls inside a football sock. I bet your thinking, strange tool to use but from a few blows with this home made implement the victim lost an eye, had his jaw, ribs and hand broken and was left in his home to die. All for £15... That's all they stole... The victim was found 3 days later, still alive as his neighbour called us as his milk was stacking up outside. Makes you sick!

12 Nov 2011

Paper is time and time is money

When I speak to members of the public about my job the thing they say more than anything else is "lots of paperwork" which normally I say "not really" but I think this is only because I am used to it. I look at some other jobs my old school friends have and they say how they don't have paperwork anymore. Some say they dont have work that lasts them past one day!

In my line of work though you easily get used to having lots of paperwork and often see it as normal. It is normal to be investigating up to 9 crimes at one time and having things like prisoners and new jobs to go to every day. If you look at it there is a lot of paperwork compared to other jobs but when you get used to it you are nervy when you hear your force say they are "cutting down the paperwork" as this is surely a sign that they think we are working too much or that the force is using too much paper!!

Things change too often in the police and it is usually a job to keep up with it. I would rather have lots of paperwork as long as it always stayed the same.

5 Nov 2011

Eyes in the Skies

The police have many tools at their disposal, none are better than the famous Numberplate Recognition cameras. These are fitted at many locations that are obvious, like speed cameras, and some that are so well hidden you would struggle to see it when pointed out.This system works by recording ever number plate that passes, checks it against the police database then stores it.

It can be used to great effect to track people like missing people but it came into it's own when I used it to track a vehicle that had tailgated another for about 20miles before the occupant smashing the other cars windows with a baseball bat. I checked the details of the victims car on the database, which also has the functionality to check 10 cars in front or behind the details you enter. The result of this was that I found the license number of the car following the victim and we went around to their address and arrested 3 people in the address.

After I arrested them I conducted a search of the address and found that the garage had been converted, not into a room like normal people, into a cannabis growing room containing over 100 plants of varying ages. I don't think their landlord would gave been happy about this as he also owned the drug rehab centre two doors down!!

2 Nov 2011

Speed Racers

I think I would be lying if I ever said I never speed. I too, even though I'm a police officer have fallen fowl of the Gatso. For the moment I have a clean license and intend to keep it that way. I know some members of the public stray over the speed limit but sometimes stupidity and the Attitude Test come into play when your followed closely by a marked patrol car.

Not too long ago on one of the 50mph ring road's around town I was put in this position by what I can only describe as a Chav BMW Mini. I call it this as they had worked Chav magic on the car tinting the windows, lowering, big alloys etc. I was going along doing the 50mph when the Mini joined at the junction and sped up to at least 70mph. I followed it to be sure and did the usual checks on the license plate.

After a short time I noticed that This car was speeding up to other cars, pulling along side then flooring it again. I eventually stopped the male who got out of his car and I realised he was a 40 year old man dressed like a boy. His first words to me were "So what have you stopped me for?" I replied "I don't need a reason" it was at this point that the male had failed the attitude test as his reply was "Well I want one, I am a busy man, I can't have my time wasted by the likes of you"

As a result of this I wasted as much time as I could checking his vehicle over before issuing a speeding ticket to him. That is what happens when you fail the attitude test!

29 Oct 2011

Mental Health Units in need of HELP

Since men in white coats were abolished the role of dishing out help with mental illness has fallen largely on the police. If people are ill and know they need help they can walk into any hospital and be seen by a doctor. If they do not want to go then they can be forced under section, in extreme cases, by a doctor.

The majority of intervention comes at the time by police officers in the form of a Section 136 of the Mental Health Act. This is a section predominantly for people who we as the police believe are a harm to themselves or another person. Whereby we can force someone to seek medical assessment. It seems though that these sections are looked upon negatively within mental health establishments as a way for us police to detain someone, or anyone.

Mental health units have tried all the tricks in the book with me let alone anyone else. To recall a few I had one male who was found standing in the middle of the road, running in and out of traffic pointing a makeup brush at cars and making a bang noise. I nearly ran over him as I arrived but he was rejected as by the local unit he wasn't from the area, this meant we had to get him assessed at the police station.

Another was a male who was detained as he was saying that whatever happens he will kill himself and once we talked him down he told me to take his shoe laces as the voices would tell him to strangle himself. He was rejected as the worker at the unit was on her own and was SCARED to be left alone with him!!! He only ever threatened to harm himself and not anyone else.

The final one I recall if when I detained someone drunk who threatened to jump off a building, waited till he blew 0 in custody and took him to the unit and they put him on their in calibrated device and he blew 63... They wouldn't have it, back to custody he went for an assessment with us.

Don't get me wrong, we argued our case every time, from our level up to operational Inspectors!! BUT the NHS will have none of it!! I look forward to the NHS reform if it helps us with this...

26 Oct 2011

Keep it Civil

It's always annoying when people I deal with think they know the Law, Especially those who are undoubtedly and categorically wrong. More often then not these are usually with Civil issues. These are things that are not a criminal matter but there are a few examples of people who will not take no for an answer and insist the police do something.

The first example of this was an incident I went to whereby we received a call from a caretaker, for the purpose of this I will call Mr. Care. Mr Care called us about his beloved Transit Van that had been parked in a car park for the best part of a year as he was on a driving ban. Mr.Care noticed one day his van disappeared.

I completed some enquiries and it seemed it had been scrapped. I managed to do enquiries with the scrap yard and I got details for the person who removed the van from the car park who told me it had been left there and the owners of the car park got a 14 day removal notice on the van which was ignored so it was sent for scrappage.

Mr. Care wasn't happy and was adamant that they stole his car. He wouldn't listen to me no matter how many times I told him it was a civil matter that he needed to speak to the people who own the land. So it turned into a complaint that was quashed as unfounded!!! The next I can think of was a call we received of theft. A female, for the purpose of this we will call Mrs Grub. She was calling us to say that her husband, who lives at a separate address has been coming over to her address for the night and eating her food. The two of them are still together and still married, they just live in different houses. Mrs Grub was annoyed as her husband didn't ask her permission to eat any of the food or make himself a drink. As if that wasn't enough he also borrowed her Hoover and keeps forgetting to bring it back. Well you can imagine what I thought. So when people call 999 and try to report a theft of these items when they know they are not actually stolen surely there should be the option of a payment scheme for wasting police time!!

22 Oct 2011

Child Pawn

When relationships end it can be hard, It gets even harder when there is children involved. There are many people out there who do not think about the children in these circumstances but think of them merely as pawns in their grand chess game of getting one over on the ex-partner.

One incident that springs to mind was when I attended a missing person report. On arrival I spoke with a female who wanted to report her child missing as it's Dad collected it for a visit and it's been 2 hours passed when they were meant to return and they hadn't. I began to probe, enquiring as to whether she had contacted the child's Dad to which she replied "He said he is having so much fun and wanted to stay the night but I'm not happy with this so I want you to go get him" As you could imagine I don't take being told how to do my job lightly and swiftly informed the half-wit that as they have not had a court custody battle which was awarded in her favour then the Queens Police would not be downgraded to a mere Taxi service for her benefit.

Granted she didn't understand half of it but in short she was told to suck it up and go see a solicitor. I can understand people's genuine worry for their children's safety when they go missing but when you know where they are but have had too many sherbets to go pick them up yourself then maybe it's time to look again at your parenting skills.

19 Oct 2011

Hospital Visiting at all Hours

When a prisoner comes into custody we have a duty of care for their welfare to do what we can to prevent a death in custody. This unfortunately is used to the advantage of some of our regulars to get an easy trip to out. More often then not this comes in the form of a trip to hospital. Most try this stunt at the time when the Hospitals are at their busiest so they get the most attention possible.

A couple of incidents come to mind when I think of trips to hospital the first was one where a known regular was wanted by us for a serious offence but did not have a home address. As he didn't want to be sitting in a cell for hours on end he took 20 Valium tablets before handing himself in knowing he would be taken straight to hospital and put under 24 hour observations, in a comfier bed than a cell with people he could talk to. All of this whilst being escorted by two officer who now couldn't patrol the streets and keep honest citizens safe!

The second was another known regular to us that decided whilst speaking to the custody sergeant that he would state he had every ailment known to man, including epilepsy, and that he was going to kill himself in our custody. These comments are never taken lightly and because of this he was placed on a "Close Proximity Watch" which in basic terms means he had an officer sat outside his cell watching him all night. Again another officer taken off the streets to babysit a delinquent.

The second changed when the male started to do an act which the ambulance service are known to call sudo-fitting, which is a great term which I have adopted meaning "He is faking a fit" This as with the previous meant a trip to hospital for two officers for the rest of the night.

So in short if the Government wants to put more officers on the streets then they need to get rid of human rights act and it will then make it harder for known regulars to use this stunt!

15 Oct 2011

Traffic Matters, it does, honest!

When you talk to any local response police officer they will all have the same thoughts about Road Traffic Policing... Boring as hell.

I would disagree, I like pulling over cars and issuing tickets for things that they have done wrong, especially when it's black and white. I know if my colleagues knew this I would be called a "Traffic Wannabee" but it's my guilty pleasure.

When people say how much trouble traffic jobs are I think about one incident in particular. A brand new Vauxhall Astra pulled out in front of our patrol car late at night and floored it. I pulled him over and, what a surprise he was driving a hire car. He said his name was Mr. Won, well he thought that he had so it seemed apt, I checked our records and there was nothing showing on PNC for this man having a driving license. This meant I could bring in a piece of legislation that meant I could seize the guys car even though it was a rental. It felt awesome! I issued him with all the paperwork, got the car lifted and told the guy the amount he would have to pay, no doubt to the hire company after they come and recover it.

The next day I came to work to hear that a guy with all my paperwork on him had been brought into custody under the name Mr. Lost. Turns out this was the same guy I had issued the paperwork to and it seemed he had given me false details as he was disqualified. As well as the public order charge he had been brought in for I added; driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, obstructing a constable in execution of his duty and FRAUD as he gave false details and driving license in order to hire the car.

Who says traffic is boring and never gets exciting results? Mr. Lost then became Mr. Convicted!!

12 Oct 2011

Domesticated Bliss

As you are more likely to be hurt by someone you know this is why when calls of a domestic disturbance reach the stage that someone is contacting the police this is when things need to be taken seriously... BUT when we get called and neither person will tell us what is happening or when it is an argument over something minor we should just be able to say OK and leave.

I remember one such rubbish incident when we had received an abandoned 999 call, this is one where a request for an emergency service wasn't made. So we head over on blue lights at high speed, always thinking the worse.

We turn up to hear yelling an argument inside, banging on the door we get no response and as such we grow increasingly concerned as nobody is answering. Just before I put my big boot through the door a frail old man who was in his 70's comes to the door.

This is the point at which I question our involvement, I asked what happened and the husband said "I was cooking an omelette for lunch and then she came in and yelled at me for using the last of the eggs, so I threw the omelette on the floor and said neither of us can have them now!" I said "So who called 999?" to which the wife piped up and said "Me, I wanted him to pick the eggs up and he refused"

Even though common sense would mean we gave wife advice on her use of the 999 service and left, this was not the case. We stayed at the address for half an hour filling out a 26 page home office booklet which is meant to assess what risk the victim is at... RISK!! Well in this house, the husband is at risk of more nagging the wife is at risk of being left and the eggs have a risk of being beaten!

29 Sep 2011

What is the person missing?

Dont get me wrong, when people go missing the role of the police is vital but the role of the people who report the person missing is vital too. When someone is reported missing a police officer has to ask a number of questions which assess at what risk the person is at. If these questions are answered incorrectly then we have an issue.

I recall one incident that occurred whereby a local care home brought some of their patients to our town for a day out. The patients had all sorts of illnesses from Alzheimer's to Parkinson's. They spent all day wandering the sights when we received a phone call saying that one of their patients had gone missing is the last 5 minutes.

Officers went to meet them and ask the usual questions to assess risk, how were they feeling, essential medication etc. It was deemed that as the male patient, we will call him Mr. Grey, was a long time sufferer of a severe case of dementia, that he would be high risk. This was also due to him being 92 years old!!

Officers on scene began to glean details from the carers of possible places he may go, people he may see. Whilst other officers searched the area in patrol cars and on foot armed with photographs copied from the carers. A couple of vital pieces of evidence were passed to us from the carers "He isn't great at walking and wouldn't be able to walk far at all" and "He doesn't even remember his name!" This was great as it shortened out search boundaries in the first instance. We began to check local shops and restaurants as it was thought he may sit down in there for a rest.

After about 30 minutes of searching we received a phone call from a chip shop about 3 miles away from where the male went missing saying that they had a confused old man in their shop. This guy matched the description of Mr. Grey and so officers went to the shop.

The result of this was that this male was in fact Mr. Grey who stated he used to live in the area and that this was his favorite chip shop and so he walked quite easily the 3 miles for some chips after giving his carers the slip. He said he knew where the bus he came on was and was going to go back once he was done. Moral of the story? Never underestimate what a human can do and never say never to a police officer as it only makes you look like a fool.

24 Sep 2011

Whose in the wrong?

I have to admit when I listen to the radio and hear "Non injury RTC, any unit available" I usually keep quiet and finish eating my salad until I declare I'm free. Alright I lied I don't eat salad it's more like, I finish eating my Burger King before I call up.

I recall one day in particular when I was not free as I had appointments but from the moment I started work that day I was unusually eager. Don't get me wrong this had happened before, but at this time I was at least 2 years into service and this would normally have been beaten out of you through workload stress.

So, as I said, I quickly called up and what did I get? Two vehicle head on collision at our usual accident crossroads, low speeds, minor injuries, road blocked. There I was, on route, traffic head on. Fended off vehicles, ascertained that neither driver was seriously injured and got recovery on route as the vehicles were blocking a carriageway each.

Then came the worse part of any RTC, the "Over-exaggerate" I say this with enough experience that every driver involved in an accident always believes the other party is to blame. In this instance we had in a Red Ford, young posh white mum and 2 year old child and in a Grey Golf, young black executive type male. But to save confusion I will call her Mrs Ford and him Mr Golf.

Mrs Ford was the first I spoke to, she was being seen to by paramedics for a burn from her airbag. She stated Mr Golf was sitting at the lights opposite her and he screeched away from the lights nearly running down someone crossing, He turned towards her as she was going straight on and she didn't have time to move and smashed straight into his left side.

Mr Golf stated that when the lights turned green he moved off and sat at the junction waiting for space to go and Mrs Ford didn't go around him but just drove straight into him.
Also Plausible

It was at this point I got the irritating "eye witnesses" trying to but in saying Mr Golf was completely at fault as it couldn't have been a mother as she had a young child in the car and she is injured. Then when I say "So what did you see" they say "Well nothing but it's got to be his fault"

I realized at this point that it was up to the insurance companies to place blame and that I would have nothing to do with it. I then decided to check everyone's details to pass over insurance companies and check addresses they give are legitimate. I began with Mr Golf who was driving a company car with his name on the insurance, I checked his driving license and all details checked out. At this point the "eye witnesses" were giving the man abuse like "There was kids in that car" and "Hope your happy" I had to bite my tongue to stop from pointing out that the first was not grammatically correct and the second was plain stupidity.

Still I plodded on and checked Mrs Ford's details. I checked her driving license, all ok. Then I checked her car which was registered in a sister's name and she wasn't on the insurance. It was at this point the "eye witnesses" stopped their abuse. I asked if she was insured on another vehicle to which I was promptly given a registration number for what turned out to be her father's Land Rover in which she was only a named driver. I informed Mrs Ford she would not be covered to drive any other vehicles as a named driver but she wouldn't have any of it.

About an hour later after ringing around the houses it turned out as I first guessed she wasn't covered. I then informed Mr Golf of this, who looked a little annoyed and all the "eye witnesses" made their excuses and left.

It was at this point I began to probe deeper and looked at her car which had no child seat. I ended up reporting Mrs Ford for Driving Without Insurance, Failing to Secure a Child Passenger and to top it all seized her car as she was driving without insurance.

I thought this was a good day until I was approached whilst leaving by a member of the public who stated they saw the whole thing and that Mrs Ford was in the wrong lane at the lights and sped off to get in front of the car next to her and when she looked at the road ahead smashed right into the side of Mr Golf.

Well that put a smug look on my face and to top it all she got a court appearance and her sister never came to collect her car which has now been scrapped!

23 Sep 2011

Identity Crisis

Identification is key in cracking many cases as if police cannot identify the suspect then how on earth are we to find them. Ideally we would love to arrest every suspect at the scene of the crime, as this is as good as red handed, but sometimes arresting someone on the scene of the crime can have it's issues too.

I recall one such incident when we received a call as soon as we paraded at the start of a night shift that a member of the public was at a party and had been assaulted. This was all the details we needed as the person was apparently still in the party. Off we went with blues and twos ago. I think the whole shift must have turned out as we had at least 3 police cars running in a row.

When we turned up at the address we all jumped out of our cars to be met by a man dressed as a one of the Teletubbies. One of my colleagues, who is not renound for being kindest of heart said to me "I would love to punch Tinky Winky in the face too,so don't blame the guy"

After talking to Tinky Winky it turns out he had an argument with a guy over a girl, well it wasn't as simple as that, he had an argument with a Penguin over Tinkerbell and then Superman, another guy at the party, got involved and it ended with Tinky Winky having ten bells kicked out him by the Penguin and Superman. At this point I had to pinch myself to stop from laughing.

So we waded in turned the music off and kicked all of the characters out of fantasy land and onto the front lawn. This was the point at which we tried to ID the suspect as Tinky Winky had been taken away to safety by another unit.

Mixed in the plethora of icons in front of us were 3 penguins, 3 best friends who thought it funny to hire the same outfit, and 2 Supermen, obvious popular outfit. "Right, let's nick them all then and we'll sort ID out later, teach 'em to all come dressed the same" said the most experienced of the shift. At this point they were all arrested which posed an issue due to the suits being oversized and handcuff not big enough.

Well the custody suite loved us. Booking penguins and supermen in was not an everyday occurrence and as I'm sure you could guess a vast amount of, very fitting, very unfunny puns started being used like "We'll give you cell 19 it's as cold as ice, just how you like it" and "Don't worry we haven't put kryptonite in your food"

It turned out that after speaking to Tinky Winky that he hadn't even been invited to this party, he just saw people nearby dressed in fancy dress, donned his own, Yes OWN Tinky Winky outfit and tagged along. He said he wouldn't recognise the person again as he had his head on throughout! I don't really need to say much more than that and i'm sure you will agree that catching people at the scene isn't always as easy as it sounds!

22 Sep 2011

New Years Heave

Christmas and New Years is a great time for a Police Officer. Well I say that meaning purely financially, with up to 6 days available to us at double time but as well as large pay packets New Years in particular gives out even more. This though comes in the manner of workload.

I remember one New Years in particular when I was partnered with the same officer who was my mentor when I first joined patrol out of training school. We always enjoyed working together and always had a laugh when times were hard. We had been patrolling around the town as, with every New Years or even weekend, that was where the trouble was to happen. We toured the pubs and clubs, saying hello to the door staff as we went, as it was best to keep the door staff on your side as they become invaluable if you are caught short of officer on busy nights. As we approached one club we spoke to one bouncer who was telling tales of how the club was nearing bankruptcy "Management want this night to keep us open if it's quite then were gone for good" said the bouncer, who resembled a cross between uncle fester and hulk hogan all dressed up in a nice black Armani knock off. We decided to part ways to which the bouncer concluded with "Hope you have a quiet night" Any person who has been anywhere near the police service will know that you do not say the Q word. You only say "Hope your night is Q" the reasons for this bizarre tradition will become prevalent.

As we left we received a message via our personal radios that Bouncers from another club nearby were having issues. We went there at full speed with all manner or lights and sounds going even though it was only a few minutes drive. As we turned up there were hundreds if not thousands of people outside of this club milling around everywhere. We arrived to find hundred of people all being light hearted and jovial. We then went to get back into our patrol car when a very angry individual approached us with blood pouring down his face and his shirt ripped open. Even though this male had a large injury to his head he continued to puff his chest out and goad all other members of public into fighting him. My colleague and I both grabbed one of the males arms each and leant him against the back of our squad car as he was so paralytic he couldn't walk. We called control to get us an Ambulance and then had nothing to do but stand there and wait. As it was nearing midnight we knew the Ambulance would be a while so we stood there holding onto the red faced, puffed chest male who was refusing for us to look at his injury saying "I just wanna go get him, I'm gonna smash his head in"

It wasn't long before we heard the unmistakable sound of thousands of intoxicated people in the clubs yelling "Happy New Year" all at the same time. At this point my colleague turned to me and said "Well while were here Happy New Year mate" to which I replied with a sarcastic tone "Yeah of course, you too"

The Ambulance never arrived so we thought it would be quicker to take the guy down to hospital ourselves. We dropped him off outside A&E and as he wandered off into the building a call came across the radio for officers to attend A&E for an angry male causing a disturbance. I turned to my college and said "It can't be him, he just walked in there, surely"

When we got in there it turned out it wasn't the same male. Instead it was an angry male that other officers had to deal with earlier from another club. What occurred before was that this male had been glassed in the side of the neck and was just dropped off there by a specialist unit under the illusion that a local unit can take details as they have guns but no paperwork. This male was incredibly drunk and also very aggressive. Although he had a hole in his neck the size of my fist and I could see all of the tendons in his neck working he was still fighting. He was pinned to the floor by 4 or 5 members of the hospital security team. My colleague then decided to try to negotiate and get the male seen to. He was very angry, anti-doctors, anti-police, anti-public. He was what we call an arse.

After about 2 hours of us telling the male to calm down and him threatening the staff, we came to a compromise. We would get his wound patched up, we would take him to his Nan's, as he asked, and he could see the doctor in the morning. This all worked out fine until he said that his Nan lived 30 miles away. My colleague then said "Sod this let's just get this arse away from out patch" because the police officer rule is "out of patch, out of mind"

When we dropped the arse off we could take a breather. I say breather but mean a break for my colleague to have a cigarette. We had to finish it quickly of course as our control had a fight kicking off with nobody free. So with lights and sirens going we took to the motorway and headed back to town. Of course half way through the 30 miles we were cancelled as they had found someone else but as soon as being cancelled we had another fight to go to.

Inevitably this didn't come to anything and before we knew it it was the end of our night and time to go home with the radio still ringing from fights and the inn full for the night. Of all of the goings on that night, the one thing I will never forget is the bouncer who ruined it all. So next time you see a police officer and want to wish him or her a quiet night remember to say Q and they will never be able to blame you for anything!